Testbiotech is today publishing a database designed to give an overview of the risks associated with genetically engineered plants allowed for marketing in the European Union, or being about to be authorised soon. The current version of the database, called PlantGeneRisk, gives an overview of thirteen genetically engineered crops, four soy plants and nine maize plants. Ten of these plants already have EU authorisation for use, import and usage in food and feed, one of them is also allowed for cultivation.
The European Ombudsman has ruled in favour of a complaint filed by Testbiotech against the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and its approach to the 'revolving doors'. The case concerns a former senior staff member at EFSA, Dr. Suzy Renckens, who was head of the unit responsible for the risk assessment of genetically engineered plants. Dr Renckens then moved to a job at Syngenta, a company that produces and markets these plants.
Today Testbiotech is publishing a “Black List” of European Patents that have already been granted. Ten examples, granted since 2009, were selected for the list in cooperation with the Initiative “No Patents on Life”. It is shown that even chimpanzees have been patented after being genetically manipulated to suffer from epilepsy so that they can be used by the pharmaceutical industry (EP1852505).
A new publication by an international research consortium has revealed several inadequacies in current approaches to risk assessment of genetically engineered plants. The publication deals with methods used for measurement in so-called Bt-plants. These plants produce an insecticidal protein ( a so-called Bt toxin) that originates from soil bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis). One example is maize MON810 which is cultivated in some countries in the EU, many others can be imported and used in food and feed.